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Welcome to the M.S. in Cognitive Neuroscience



A Smart Move

The M.S. in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Graduate Center — the only program of its kind in the United States — positions you to meet the increasing demands of today’s fast-growing careers in health, technology, business, and education. This affordable master’s program is also excellent preparation for further doctoral study.

Listen to Director Tony Ro discuss the M.S. Program in Cognitive Neuroscience:

Breakthroughs in cognitive neuroscience are shaping fields as diverse as artificial intelligence, criminal justice, data science, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, psychology, and medicine.

In this multidisciplinary program, you will explore the biology behind the way we make decisions, use language, form memories, pay attention, and perceive the world around us. You will gain marketable skills in statistics and data analysis through classroom experience and research.

You will have the opportunity to design and conduct experiments with leading experts at our many labs and centers using the latest technologies, including:

  • functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI);
  • electroencephalography (EEG);
  • transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS);
  • optical imaging; and
  • transcranial direct current simulation (tDCS).

We draw highly regarded faculty from throughout The City University of New York — the world’s largest public urban university. Prolific scholars and passionate researchers and teachers, their expertise spans neuroscience and psychology as well as mathematics, computer science, engineering, speech-language-hearing sciences, and the life sciences.

Learning comes to life through weekly seminars and an internship program that leverage our connections throughout New York City. Students will also have access to the world-class laboratories and researchers at the Graduate Center’s Advanced Science Research Center.

Take advantage of this rare opportunity in the world’s most vibrant city.



Leading scholars from a variety of disciplines teach our courses. Our professors are accomplished, experienced, and accessible to students. Master’s students typically take classes alongside top doctoral students.




As a public institution, we offer an exceptional program at a fraction of the cost of other universities.




The 32-credit curriculum includes foundational courses in neuroscience, neuroanatomy, and statistics as well as a wide range of electives and a research project. 




From leading hospitals to the most innovative companies, New York has it all. This graduate program gives you access to the best minds and the most exciting research opportunities in the field.




Students with a broad range of academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

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What will you learn?

Neuroscience Fundamentals

Six required courses give you a solid grounding in cognitive neuroscience concepts and research techniques. These include

Neuroscience I and II, a two-semester-long core course sequence focused on the biology of the brain and nervous systems, with a particular focus on the molecular and cellular basis of neuronal functions.

Neuroanatomy, which introduces students to the organizational structure of the human brain.

Cognitive Neuroscience, an overview of behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, including the neural bases for perception, attention, reward and motivation, memory, language, executive control, decision-making, and consciousness.

Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience, in which students evaluate commonly used methods for measuring central and peripheral nervous system activity, including electroencephalography (EEG) and event-related potentials (ERPs), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and optical imaging.

Statistics, an overview of statistical methods that are applicable to neuroscience research

Specialized Topics

Three elective courses let you explore your specific areas of interest. Choose from a wide variety of topics, including

  • Computer vision and image processing
  • Neural Basis of Decision-Making
  • Neuroscience of Consciousness
  • Neurobiological bases of crime
  • Autism
  • Learning and memory
  • Language acquisition and language disorders in children

Neuroscience Research

A master’s thesis involving empirical research compliments your classroom learning. Students are encouraged to start their research from the beginning of the program and will take a thesis course in their last semester.